What is rosacea?

Rosacea (say “rose-ay-shah”) is a disease that affects the skin of the face. Rosacea usually starts with redness on the cheeks. It can slowly worsen to include one or more symptoms and several parts of the face. Symptoms may include blushing (reddening of the face), a blotchy red facial rash, or spots resembling acne.

Unlike acne, however, rosacea usually first occurs in adults between the ages of 35 and 50. Eye symptoms such as redness, itching, and a gritty feeling are often associated with this condition. The rash of rosacea is not painful. Rosacea is not dangerous, but it will get worse if not properly treated.

rosacea face

What causes rosacea?

The cause of rosacea is unknown. Some factors that do not cause rosacea can make it worse, such as sun exposure, cold weather, certain foods, alcoholic beverages, or social embarrassment.

Can rosacea be treated?

Rosacea symptoms can be divided in 4 different categories: 1) dilated/broken vessels; 2) persistent diffuse underlying redness; 3) acne like pimples; 4) eye symptoms (not present in all patients). The goal of rosacea treatment is to prevent the disease from worsening and to hopefully improve facial appearance.

Unfortunately, to improve the appearance of broken capillaries laser treatment is needed but the topical medication and oral antibiotic can be used to slow down the progression of disease and to some extend improve facial redness and acne like lesions. In most cases it will take several weeks of treatment with a combination of several different medications to stabilize your rosacea. Effective treatment for rosacea is continued indefinitely. Once symptoms have cleared, patients may need to continue taking medication. In advanced cases, a referral for skin laser surgery may be arranged.

Can I do anything else to improve rosacea?

Avoid anything that irritates your skin. Use a topical sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher whenever you think you may be in the sun for a while. Green-tinted cosmetics may help to mask the rash if a flare-up occurs. Regular follow-up and consultation with your physician is important.

  • Moisturize
    • AM: use moisturizers with sunscreen i.e. Aveeno Ultimate Calming or Positively Radiant moisturizer with SPF 30, Cetaphil cream with SPF, Neutrogena moisturizer with SPF or other moisturizer with SPF with your choice
    • PM: the most important time to replenish your skin. Choose a moisturizer with vitamins, antioxidants, etc.
  • Antioxidants
    • Free radical damage is one of the principal mechanisms of aging. Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that can damage any structure in living cells. Skin suffers free radical damage from sunlight and air pollutants. Topical antioxidants provide protection against environmental damage to the skin and are effective in slowing down the skin aging. Antioxidants serums are very unstable, good quality product tend to be more expensive. Make sure you buy your product form reliable source! Apply the antioxidant serums daily to entire face prior to applying other medications or moisturizers. Some examples of antioxidants available at Paragon Dermatology are:
      • Replenix Green Tea Serum – Very popular with our patients
      • Vit C serum